This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel is a powerful story about a mother and father faced with making a life-altering decision concerning their youngest child: how do they support their son, Claude, as Claude transitions to become their daughter Poppy? This is a question that involves the whole family because a whole family transitions, not just the trans-son or trans-daughter, when one family member changes. What are the ripple effects for the whole family? What is the cost of truth? And whose truth?
In the Author's Note, Frankel says parenting involves a "balance between what you know, what you guess, what you fear, and what you imagine." Certainly, the Walsh-Adams' family collectively moves through these balancing principles as they support their trans-daughter/trans-sister in their own unique and different ways. This is an excellent book on a timely subject.
A Reading Group Guide is available at http://us.macmillan.com/reading-group-gold. Frankel, who has a transgender child, will be interviewed about her book this Spring on Well Read.